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Reviewed by Lesley Jones for Readers' Favorite
In the final part of the Richard and Maria trilogy, One Alone in the World by Sarah Stuart, the couple is facing financial and relationship difficulties. The business they inherited from Maria's late surrogate father, The White Hart Inn, is struggling and Richard's once devoted musical fan base is diminishing. As their own insecurities and problems take priority, they forget the love and passion they once shared. Their young daughter, Eleanor, is witness to her parents' constant arguments and overhears revelations that make her believe maybe she is the cause of the difficulties. Determined to make her parents happy, Eleanor secretly contacts the maternal grandmother she has never met. This brings ghosts and painful memories from the past into their lives and threatens to tear Richard and Maria apart for good.
Although this is the third book in the trilogy, Sarah Stuart has cleverly included all the main plot points from the first two novels, so this can be enjoyed as a stand-alone read. Having read and thoroughly enjoyed the previous novels in this series, I have to say this novel is of the same high standard. The plot is filled with intrigue, tension, and suspense. There are so many layers to the plot as Maria's and Richard's own insecurities and past experiences make them blind to their wonderful characteristics. Their negative inner beliefs really put a wedge in their marriage. The obstacles Maria and Richard had to overcome were superb; self-doubt, people from their past determined to seek their revenge, and crossed wires all added to the irresistible nature of the plot.
I loved the developing relationship between Eleanor and Brian, and this made for an excellent sub-plot. As with the first two novels, you are completely submerged in the lives of the characters and want them to believe in themselves and their amazing qualities. Eleanor was such a sweet girl; her loving and caring nature was amazing. As with the previous novels, there were some great song lyrics by Richard throughout. There are many life lessons to be taken from One Alone in the World too. What is the true meaning of happiness and love? Also, only believe what you see with your own eyes and do not allow those with a hidden agenda to influence you.